Book Review: The Last Romantics

The cover flap description doesn’t sound like much, but this is actually a beautiful novel told in an almost wistful tone. It’s the story of siblings, four siblings who have experienced deep sorrow. Their respective reactions to the trauma are different, but their bond with each other remains strong.

After her husband dies, Antonia (Noni) Skinner falls into a deep depression. In the two or three years following his death, she rarely emerges from her bedroom, leaving her four children to fend for themselves in an era they refer to as The Pause. There’s Renee, the responsible one who makes sure all the children are fed and schooled. Caroline is the beauty, ready to jump into marriage in a way her mother never did. Joe is the golden boy with a promising future in baseball. And then there’s Fiona, the baby. When Noni emerges from her depression, she takes on all that parenting entails, but the Skinner children have been forever changed. Joe, in particular, struggles to find himself. Everyone is always “fine”, but the scars are deep and the loyalty fierce. When suffering finds them again as adults, the Skinners must find themselves as they find each other.

4.5 out of 5 stars.